Let’s not beat around the bush with this. Alcohol addiction is not easy to recognize in yourself or a loved one, but it can leave a trail of devastating effects if it goes untreated for a long time. Admitting you have a problem and looking for help is the first step on the road to recovery. A simple call to an alcohol addiction hotline is all you need.
AA hotlines are set up to help individuals struggling with alcohol abuse. Moreover, they are useful for those who are undecided about their alcohol use and those who have an addiction. But there are many alcohol addiction hotlines in the US. In this piece, we point you to the best hotlines and breakdown the alcohol addiction recovery process.
- 1 What is an alcohol addiction hotline?
- 2 Top alcohol addiction hotlines
- 3 Are you addicted to alcohol?
- 4 Signs of alcohol dependency
- 5 How alcohol abuse affects the body
- 6 When should you call the AA hotline?
- 7 What happens during an AA hotline call?
- 8 Why people avoid AA hotlines and rehabs
- 9 Types of treatment programs
- 10 How long does alcohol addiction last?
- 11 How much is alcohol addiction recovery?
- 12 Picking the right treatment center
- 13 Get over your fear and call an AA hotline
- 14 FAQs
- 14.0.1 How does the withdrawal process look like?
- 14.0.2 Does alcohol addiction treatment work?
- 14.0.3 How can I find an alcohol treatment center near me?
- 14.0.4 Do treatment facilities have rules?
- 14.0.5 Can I get in trouble for what I say on the hotline?
- 14.0.6 Do I have to go into a treatment facility?
- 14.0.7 Are AA hotlines free?
What is an alcohol addiction hotline?
When someone is addicted to alcohol, it’s difficult for them to quit without help. And even when they try, they often relapse. This is where alcohol addiction hotlines come in. They are telephone numbers that connect alcohol addicts to trusted advisors who can answer questions related to alcoholism and recovery. Usually, the hotlines are manned 24/7 by trained professionals.
These professionals are trained to feel empathy and to guide you to the best treatment facility in your area. Their job is to offer information that will convince you to embark on the road to recovery.
Note: many individuals manning the alcohol addiction hotlines have experienced the effects of alcohol in their lives. They, therefore, understand what you are going through and the courage it took to make the call.
Now, these alcohol addiction hotlines are free and anonymous. As such, you are not obligated to disclose personal information. And if you choose to, the hotline does not share it with third parties. Unfortunately, despite being trusted alcohol addiction resources, they are not equipped to handle emergencies. Therefore, In case of mental and physical health problems (including suicidal thoughts), you should call 911 instead.
Top alcohol addiction hotlines
There are many AA hotlines in the US. However, below are the top AA hotlines in the US.
SAMHSA National Hotline
Phone number: 800-662-4357
The US federal government provides a free alcohol addiction hotline that will connect you to alcohol addiction treatment facilities in your location. It is available both day and night. In addition to referring you to addiction resources, the hotline also points you to support groups in your area.
Alcoholics anonymous local phone numbers
This is a website that has a list of hotline phone numbers. You can call any of the numbers for information on AA meetings in your area. Many of the local AA chapters offer basic information on AA plan regular support meetings.
Al-Anon and Alateen Information
Phone number: 757-563-1600
Alateen and Al-Anon are two of the largest support groups for individuals affected by a loved one’s alcohol addiction. The support groups help these individuals recover from emotional hurt caused by the effects of alcohol in their lives. The groups also teach them how they can support alcoholics while keeping safe. You can call the hotline to find out more about their alcohol addiction resources in your area.
Are you addicted to alcohol?
Many people question the seriousness of alcohol abuse in their lives. While calling an alcohol addiction hotline can make things clear, here is some information to help you determine where you stand.
Signs of alcohol use disorder
The symptoms include:
- Craving alcohol.
- Drinking alcohol in large amounts than is healthy.
- Failed attempts to control or decrease alcohol use.
- Spending a lot of time drinking and recovering from alcohol use.
- Drinking alcohol, even if it puts you in dangerous situations.
- Using alcohol even when it is clearly straining your relationships.
- Difficulty completing responsibilities at work, home, or school because you drink often.
- Reduce participation in important activities because of alcohol abuse.
- You continue drinking even when you know it is causing or making your physical or mental problems worse.
- You’ve developed alcohol tolerance and have to drink more to get drunk.
- You go through withdrawal when you don’t drink.
Signs of alcohol dependency
Dependency is a state where one only functions normally with drug use. As a result, reducing alcohol use or stopping suddenly can result in withdrawal symptoms. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings.
- Trouble thinking straight.
Alcohol withdrawal tends to be severe and can result in fatalities. Because of this, if you or a loved one experiences withdrawal symptoms, visit a medical center ASAP. And if serious symptoms manifest, including seizures, irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, or confusion, you should all 911.
How alcohol abuse affects the body
Prolonged alcohol use can lead to serious health problems. Moreover, according to the CDC, health problems related to alcohol abuse include:
- Liver cirrhosis.
- Alcohol hepatitis.
Aside from the above, some health risks may not be obvious. For instance, the heavy drinkers have a higher chance of accidental drowning or getting hurt from a fall. Alcohol abuse is also known to be a large factor behind car and traffic accidents, child abuse, and domestic violence.
When should you call the AA hotline?
Alcohol addiction progresses in stages. You don’t have to wait for withdrawal symptoms or hit rock bottom to get help. When you first notice that you can’t quit drinking without help, or you are struggling to control your alcohol intake, call the hotlines.
What happens during an AA hotline call?
The actual conversation during an alcohol addiction hotline call depends on the organization you call and the reason for calling. If your purpose is to find the appropriate treatment for alcohol addiction, then your conversation will include the below topics:
- Your alcohol abuse history.
- Mental health and medical history.
- Your location and your flexibility to travel.
- How strong is your support system?
- Do you have insurance?
- The alcohol treatment facilities and the services available.
- The accreditations of treatment facilities in your location.
- Auxiliary programs.
Some people usually call AA hotlines to get general information on alcoholism. And during the call, they learn about the support groups in your region and other resources in your location that can guide you to recovery.
Regardless of the reason for calling, you should prepare a list of questions beforehand. This list will ensure you don’t forget anything and that the call is effective. ‘Winging it’ while on call is a recipe for disaster. You can prepare questions revolving around the topics listed above.
Why people avoid AA hotlines and rehabs
It’s no secret that attending rehab will greatly improve your confidence, mental health, finances, and social life. But like most problems, alcohol abuse comes with denial – from the addict as well as family and friends. Everyone wants to believe the situation is under control and that it’s not as bad as it seems.
Those who realize they need help will also try and avoid AA treatment facilities because of:
- The social stigma that comes with attending rehab.
- The belief that will power alone is enough to defeat alcohol addiction without outside help.
- The fear of being vulnerable to others.
- The Fear of getting fired when the employer finds out.
- Not being able to afford to pay for the AA treatment.
You shouldn’t let fear keep you from getting treatment information, getting help, and your life back. There are many treatment programs that you can choose from depending on your unique situation and preference.
Types of treatment programs
When you think of alcohol addiction treatment, the first thing that comes to mind is inpatient stays. But not everyone undergoes such treatments. Others enroll in programs with daily attendance and support groups.
Currently, there isn’t a specific formula for determining which alcohol addiction treatment program is ideal for different individuals. Generally, the program chosen depends on:
- The costs and how much the individual can afford
- The level of treatment one needs
- The program the individual is comfortable with
The treatments you can choose
Residential program: This treatment program involves leaving home and living in the AA treatment facility. You’ll also go through counseling and attend support group meetings. Usually, the shorter program lasts about 30 days, while longer programs last 90 days.
Outpatient program: With this program, you receive your treatment while at home and can still go to work. It is ideal for individuals who cannot afford to take leave from work or personal responsibilities. There are several outpatient program options to choose from including:
- Intensive outpatient – this resembles the inpatient residential program in regards to effectiveness and service. The main focus of this program is to prevent a relapse. The program involves meeting three days a week for between two and four hours each day. These meetings are scheduled around school and work to avoid inconveniences.
- Partial hospitalization – it is ideal for individuals who need medical monitoring but have a good environment at home. The meetings are held at the hospital, usually for three or five days a week. In most cases, each meeting lasts about six hours.
- Therapy and counseling – These two treatments are coupled with other programs and are perfect for follow-ups and extra support. While other programs rid you of alcohol dependency, therapy and counseling get to the root cause of addiction. You also get to learn healthy coping skills and repair damaged relationships in your life. The treatments often include individual or group therapy, behavioral therapy, and family counseling.
Medical intervention: Alcohol addiction has uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Most inpatient programs provide supervised medical detoxification. As the body rids itself of alcohol, doctors manage your symptoms and monitor physical health.
How long does alcohol addiction last?
The length of the alcohol addiction treatment greatly depends on your responsibilities and needs. Some of the programs are short term and others are long term. The best treatment program is one that affords you the luxury of extending your treatment. For instance, if you complete 30 days and still feel you need more time to focus on the treatment, you can.
But generally, how treatment results are further enhanced by getting good aftercare. The goal of an aftercare program is to increase your chances of staying clean and focusing on recovery.
How much is alcohol addiction recovery?
Residential treatment is one of the most expensive. But for those who want to avoid temptations to indulge until they complete the treatment, it is a great option. Some treatment facilities offer payment plans to help in managing the costs. You should never be afraid to ask about it.
If you have insurance, you can call and confirm if your plan covers alcohol addiction treatment. Those without an insurance cover can look for facilities that have public funding. You can find such facilities on SAMHSA’s website.
Picking the right treatment center
We’ve established that AA hotlines provide invaluable AA information on treatment and recovery. From the list of options provided, how do you choose the best facility for your needs? Below are some factors to consider.
- Some experience in treating alcohol abuse and addiction. This is crucial since some treatment facilities focus on specific types of addictions.
- They should have certified addiction counselors and mental health professionals. Working with trained staff improves your treatment experience.
- Do they have a dual diagnosis? Most often, alcohol addiction is accompanied by mental and physical health problems. A treatment program that has dual diagnosis is ideal in these situations. Without treating co-occurring health issues, there are high chances of a relapse.
- The facility should have a proper intake. This means the therapist should meet you and evaluate your level of addiction. They should also assess your mental health. Without this step, the facility cannot devise an individualized AA treatment plan that fits your situation and needs.
- Treatment adjustment should be an option. No treatment is superior to the other, and as such, the facility should be ready to re-evaluate and adjust the program for maximum care and results. This means the system should support feedback during the treatment.
Get over your fear and call an AA hotline
Admitting that you need help is never easy. But as scary as it is, you should pick up the phone and take the first step to recovery. During the call, you’ll be shocked at how much you learn and the options available.
Do not let alcohol addiction affect your quality of life and frustrate your loved ones. Get your alcohol addiction and treatment facts today and decide on the treatment after.
How does the withdrawal process look like?
Anyone who intends to stop taking alcohol should meet with a health practitioner to manage the risk of severe withdrawal. The health professional will also manage the detox process if need be.
Does alcohol addiction treatment work?
Any type of treatment is way better than nothing. And there is no scientific evidence that proves one treatment is the best – it all depends on your situation. However, studies on the 12-step program show that the results are positive.
How can I find an alcohol treatment center near me?
When looking for an AA treatment facility close to you, ensure you get a legit program that has qualified staff. It’s important that you are comfortable with the facility as well. If you have to go through treatment and manage withdrawal symptoms, the facility should provide supervised medical detox programs. The best way to find a reputable AA treatment facility close to you is through online reviews and recommendations from AA hotlines.
Do treatment facilities have rules?
Yes, they do. The rules are instituted to maintain a safe environment, free of drugs, and that focuses on recovery. Usually, treatment facilities make the rules stricter for new entrants. With time, they offer more freedom as you prove your commitment to the process. Some of the rules include regular drug testing, no visitors without seeking permission, and no electronic devices.
Can I get in trouble for what I say on the hotline?
The AA hotline is a safe space where you can speak your truth without getting into trouble. AA hotlines keep things confidential, and you remain anonymous even if you share your personal details. Hotlines thrive because of their privacy and trust levels. If they breach the trust, it means alcohol addicts will not come forward, and fewer people benefit from the programs.
Do I have to go into a treatment facility?
The decision to enroll in a treatment facility is yours. However, calling a hotline doesn’t mean you commit to anything. The specialist will provide you with relevant information and urge you to get treatment. However, they will not force you or judge you when you don’t see treatment.
Are AA hotlines free?
Yes, they are. However, you only spend money when you get into a treatment program. The cost of AA treatment varies with the type of program, the facility you choose, and if you have insurance or not.